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Prince backs in-form Verreynne, Linde for regular Proteas roles

Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has thrown his weight behind in-form batsman Kyle Verreynne to be considered for a top 6 batting position in the Proteas Test team later this summer and beyond and believes George Linde has all the attributes to be a regular performer for the Proteas in white-ball cricket.

Verreynne has had an excellent start to the season for the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras, coming in at number 5 for the franchise in both games under trying conditions. He has 247 runs to his name in 4 innings at an average of 61.75 and Prince believes, Verreynne, on stats and performances alone, can do a job in the Test team, whether he takes the wicket-keeper gloves or not.

“I’ve been saying for a while that I think there is place for both Kyle Verreynne and Quinton de Kock in the Test match format of the game. It’s a little bit harsh just to consider Kyle as just a wicket keeper batsman. If you go on pure career stats, Kyle averages over 50 in career franchise 4 Day cricket, which puts him probably as one of the top 6 batsmen in the country in terms of stats. For me, if you’re one of the top 6 batsmen in the country in career stats, it technically brings you into the equation for the top 6 batsmen in the Test lineup, alongside a guy like Quinton de Kock,” Prince said.

“He has started the season nicely for us, passing 50 three times out of four innings. I’m sure he would have liked to convert on a couple of those occasions, but he has also come in when the team was in a tough position and has simply run out of partners, which hasn’t helped him reach the three figures,” Prince added.

Verreynne ended the 2019/2020 season with 551 runs in 11 innings at an average of 55.10 which included 2 centuries and 3 half centuries and has scored over 500 runs per season in first-class cricket since he has been a professional franchise cricketer for the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras, and although he made his Proteas debut in the One Day team last season and has been included in the Proteas squad for the upcoming white-ball series against England, Prince “strongly believes he can do a job in the Test team as well and that his consistency over the past three years should put him in contention for the Test squad later in the summer.”

“Another person who has started very well for us this season is George Linde, he took 9 wickets in the first match against the Titans and chipped in with some vital runs in both games, especially at the Wanderers with our backs against the wall where batted for the best part of three hours and helped us save the game. He played as the senior partner in the crucial partnership with Nandre Burger on the final day. He was last season’s domestic MVP by putting in consistent performances in all competitions, so right now for me, considering South Africa’s white ball options, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon, I think he is probably best placed for me as a 2nd spinner who can clear the boundaries quite comfortably. His batting has come on leaps and bounds the last couple of years, he has scored centuries in the 4 day competition last season and he has been used as a number 3 for the Cape Town Blitz in T20s, and we’ve utilized him at 3, 4 and 5 for the Cobras in 50 over cricket – he has been entrusted with a lot of responsibility with the bat. For me, he becomes a very strong candidate for the Proteas in white ball cricket.”

“It’s been a nice start for both of them and hopefully we will see them being included in the Proteas squads throughout the season,” Prince concluded.

Linde and Verreynne, as well as their Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras team-mate Janneman Malan, will join up with the Proteas Squad in Cape Town this week as preparations begin for the series against England which starts with the first KFC T20 International at Six Gun Grill Newlands on November 27. The entire series will be played in a bio-bubble with no fans allowed inside the stadiums.  

SA vs England Schedule:

Friday, 27 November at 18:00 1st KFC T20I South Africa v England, Six Gun Grill Newlands

Sunday, 29 November at 14:30: 2nd KFC T20I South Africa v England, Eurolux Boland Park

Tuesday, 01 December at 18:00: 3rd KFC T20I South Africa v England, Six Gun Grill Newlands

Friday, 04 December at 13:00: 1st Betway ODI presented by Momentum South Africa v England, Six Gun Grill Newlands

Sunday, 06 December at 10:00: 2nd Betway ODI presented by Momentum: South Africa v England, Eurolux Boland Park

Wednesday, 09 December at 13:00: 3rd Betway ODI presented by Momentum: South Africa v England, Six Gun Grill Newlands